January 2, 2006

Control. We are, in our own ways, control freaks. We want to feel in control of ourselves and our surroundings, but all too often we don’t have control at all. Maybe it’s time to let go.

One of the things we all want to feel is in control of our lives, our destiny. But truly, there aren’t many of us that are. We spend our time being buffeted about by forces beyond our control. All too often the main one of those is our job. 

I remember when I was working at my day job. No matter what I did, no matter how good I was, I had absolutely no control. To quote a recent movie, I was like a plane without a rudder, “wind blows north, I go north.” 

While we need control, we don’t need to control as much as we do. Something I see all the time when I work on people, how I will move their arms or legs, and they will try to move it for me, trying to guess where I’m going with it. It is better for them if they just release control and let me move the limb, but they can’t give up control on anything. 

Sometimes we need to release, to let go, not to the point that we are rudderless, but to the point where we can be gently directed. We still have control, but are freer to float, rather than stand stiff. 

There was one scene in the movie “Serenity” (which the previous quote came from) where the pilot of Serenity is trying to fly between two warring fleets bent on destroying them. His comment is “I am a leaf on the wind. Watch me soar.” 

What this shows is someone letting go of control enough so that they can move with the forces around them, yet be in control enough so they are not blown around haphazardly. This person is not stiff and rigid. They are moving with the wind, bouncing, changing direction as needed. They are able to move and bend, to go with the flow. This is where we need to be. Surprisingly enough we don’t do it by tightening control, but by releasing it. Scary huh? Well, of course it is. But rather than giving into fear, give into hope.